Elephant Plains Safari: A Buffalo up a Tree?
(All images from Back of Brendon Cremer’s Camera)
Fanus Weldhagen Reports:
Early this morning, in fact soon after leaving the Lodge, we came across two hyenas on a mission. An adult female with a youngster were trotting and running along in a fixed direction and with determination. Were they hunting, we wondered as we decided to follow them.
They kept going, eventually slowing to a walk – and then they reached their destination where they proceeded to loiter around and rest for quite some time. The site was an old hyena den, which made us think that maybe they were on a scouting mission to find a new home for the younger generation? Maybe?
Then we heard that Anderson Male, that huge leopard, was in the vicinity with a buffalo in a tree. ‘A what?’ We asked again. ‘A buffalo’ came the reply. Scarcely able to credit what we had just heard we went directly to the spot.
Sure enough! There was Anderson Male! And yes! That was definitely a buffalo up there. A calf, sure, but not a tiny one. That just shows how big and powerful this leopard is. We saw buffalo tracks everywhere, and putting the sequence of events together we realised that Anderson Male must have found the buffalo herd sleeping, and undaunted by their sheer number and huge size, had made a kill at some stage during the night.
We could hear a female buffalo calling, calling, calling. This could only be the bereft mother searching for her calf.
While we were photographing this amazing scene a Vine Snake came slithering along. It hung around long enough for plenty of photographs.
We moved on after a while and soon bumped into Salayexe. She was as cooperative as ever as she walked along marking her territory.
We returned to Salayexe after our lunch break and rest, and during the afternoon she was even more fabulous. She climbed tree after tree. Up one, then down, then up the next, down and up the next – on and on.
Eventually the lovely leopard climbed a particularly large tree and remained there as the light faded, giving everyone a chance to practice with different light levels and how to adapt to spotlights and flash photography in the bush.
After sundowners we returned to Anderson Male. He relaxed comfortably at the bottom of the tree with his kill way up in the branches. He ignored us completely as we filled our cameras with even more images.
Tomorrow we would like to start the day at Anderson Male to check whether any intruders arrive overnight …